Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inexpensive Red Dot Battery Test

My first experience with a red dot was the Tasco Pro-point PDP2. It stood up to 44 magnum recoil, but had a battery life measured in hours. As in, change the batteries at the end of the hunting day or look through a blank tube the next morning. Obviously, this was first gen technology. I still have it; it resides on my 18" 870 that I turned into a deer gun after tiring of paying $4 a shot for sabot slugs.

Recently, I've decided to audition cheap Chinese red dots. By audition, I mean I bought a couple of cheap red dots, put them on ARs and left them turned on. Even shot a few rounds here and there.

First up is the Bushnell TRS-25. It is a small, micro style red dot. For now, it resides on a Rock River tactial carry handle. That gives me lower 1/3 cowitness with the irons. I've actually swapped the assembly between Fugly (11.5" painted thing) and my all Armalite 16" rifle. I first installed it sometime in September. So far, I have left it on in position 4 when not shooting. The battery is still up as of today. (2 months) I've read somewhere 3000 hour battery life. So far, so good. I do find the reflective coating on the front of the Bushnell to be annoying. I haven't looked into a Killflash for it.

The other is a Truglo Trition TG8365B open red dot. It has been on the PSA 6.8 through 1045 rounds. I bought it because it has the smallest MOA dot outside of an Aimpoint or EoTech. Shoots to the same place with the same loads.

2.5 MOA dot
 I don't really need all the extra features on it- it offers 3 different colors -red, blue, and green, all on the same dial. Each color only has 3 brightness settings. Doesn't seem to be a problem at the range.

2.5 MOA dot with ring

4 different dots are available with a twist of the rear knob. I have yet to see if changing to a different shape changes the POI. I have moved the knob, moved it back and the POI remains the same. I have no use for the other settings- The 5 MOA dot and the 2.5 dot with ring serve little purpose. I didn't even get a picture of the 5 MOA dot, it looks much like the 2.5 dot with the ring.

5 MOA dot with ring.

 I might find a use for the 5 MOA dot with the larger ring in snap shooting. Really, the outer ring could stand to be larger.

The original battery did not last long at all. I left it on after one range trip. Three days later, it was so weak that it could not be seen on position red 3 in daylight, and the other two colors did not light at all. I put a new Energizer 2032 battery in it (same battery the TRS-25 takes) and left it on after one trip last Wednesday (10 days) on the red 1 setting. In my truck. Lows have been in the 30's to 20's this past week. I don't plan to turn it off any time soon.

I do like the clear glass when shooting with the irons. There are no emitters or knobs in the way for right handed shooters. Shooting left handed on a left hand rifle would not be bad, the brightness knob is below the plane of the glass.

All in all, neither sight pisses me off to the point that I would not buy another. I would love to run an Aimpoint PRO or a transverse Eotech. At this point in time, these fill a niche and accurately put bullets on target. I will update when the Truglo's second battery loses power

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